pointers about the Colonia visa run


Mar 7, 2008
Just to let any other newcomers know, I did the visa run to Colonia on buquebus for the first time today.
Lovely little town and a nice way to spend a day!

Three things I think might be helpful if you haven't done it before:

- you can book the ferry online at http://www.buquebus.com/cache/HomeARG.html . Also, you don't need to print out the ticket (even though the call center told me I did). Just write down your Eticket number. That's enough to check in. They also didn't ask to see the credit card I used to book the ticket, but I would bring it anyway.

-you can use AR pesos or US dollars in most restaurants/bars in colonia, so if you are just going for the day, you don't need to worry about money exchange

-you get the immigration stamp for your destination country BEFORE you get on the boat. I didn't pay attention and got a bit confused when we got off in Uruguay and there was no immigration. just FYI
Thanks for the information. Will be doing this soon. Sorry you didn´t get your Uruguayan stamp (if I read that correctly). I know the return one is the important one, but I´m still excited for a new stamp.
no prob. They did give my Uruguay stamp - they just did it in BAires before I actually got on the ferry and arrived in Uruguay - that's what threw me off. SAme process for coming back. I guess it saves them having a crowd of people come off the ferry and have to wait in line again for immigration.

enjoy Colonia - it was absolutely beautiful weather today, and I guess since it was a holiday, there were lots of people out in terraces, out on their boats, etc. very relaxing and enjoyable!
desertrose said:
For all that have been to Colonia already and want a change when renewing their visa: I just heard about a boat trip from Tigre to Carmelo that is supposedly very nice. It takes much longer than the Buquebus but I will definitely check it out next time I have to leave the country. Here is some info:

I couldn't figure out the round trip set up exactly. How fast can you leave from Tigre and then return. The length of the boat trip isn't as important as the total time of the round trip.
Napoleon said:
I couldn't figure out the round trip set up exactly. How fast can you leave from Tigre and then return. The length of the boat trip isn't as important as the total time of the round trip.

I have not made this trip personally, but a buddy who has been here for years on a tourist visa prefers the Carmelo trip to Colonia because, depending on how you get to Tigre, it was cheaper and not as crowded. The train from Retiro is the cheapest and easiest way to get there, and those trains start about 4:30 AM and run every 15 or 20 minutes. Trip to Tigre (the last stop) is about an hour, and costs less then 2 pesos (!)
The boat apparently returns within a fairly short time, as he would leave in the morning and be back that evening

My thought is that if you have never been to Colonia you should do that trip at least once, as Carmelo is not nearly as interesting a place to visit, but after you are tired of Colonia (which won't take long) you may want to consider this alternative. Certainly the trip to Carmelo is somewhat more scenic and interesting, as you wend your way through the delta rather then just slog across the river!

I thought the idea of going to Uruguay had been debunked previously on this board. I don't want to start this up again but going to Uruguay every 90 days is a waste of time and money, just pay the fine when you leave, still cheaper than the trip.

Getting a tourist visa continually renewed when you are living full time in Argentina doesn't make you legal. The tourist visa is not valid for the purpose of living in Argentina full-time.

If the authorities ever decide to enforce the rules people with 50 visa stamps in their passports are no better off than those who have done nothing.
i´ve been to colonia 3 times and each time I have used a different service, I would have to say that Colonia Express is the best i´ve used...cheap, comfortable and fast...
I love Colonia. Just to sit under the trees in peace and quiet all afternoon is worth the trip. I've always taken Buquebus because I saw that the other lines were charging foreigners a fee of $70 ARG extra. Buquebus only charges the published rate, and they have specials especially in winter. Unfortunately on my last trip to Colonia I got hassled by immigration for having 7 pages full of stamps from Argentina and Uruguay, though they weren't all consecutive, I've returned to the USA for periods of time in between. Anyway, so now I'm in the middle of getting legal here.
Yeah, I've been there for my visa run and it was a great experience.